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Innovative Fresh - Consumer Trends

Quality Insights

Consumer Trends

01 June 2017
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Consumer Trends

01 January 2017

What are consumers looking at right now?

We have been looking at latest consumer trends, when it comes to fresh produce, vegetables and flowers. By analysing consumer search activity, we are able to create strategies for communication and quality monitoring. We are providing this short report to assist you with your planning, merchandising and marketing communications.

What is happening throughout the world?

General trends

Throughout the world, more people are searching the web with queries about fruit, rather than vegetables. This has been a consistent trend for the past five years, with a very gradual incline in general searches. The searches remain very consistent for fruit and vegetables, whereas flowers have major fluctuations, with peaks occurring in February and May.

Highs and lows for fruit

Highs: Late December and July
Lows: Early December

Highs and lows for vegetables

Highs: January
Lows: December

Highs and lows for flowers

Highs: February and May
Lows: December

It is easy to see that flower trends correspond with Valentine’s day and Mother’s day in the USA. Fruit corresponds with Christmas and summer, and vegetables align with people eating unhealthily at Christmas, but trying to make up for this in January.

Targeted and specific trends

It is interesting to see what people are searching for, and this could help inform our communication strategies to see where we might have gaps in what we are telling our customers about. Let’s look more closely at what those customers are looking for.

Current top fruit searches worldwide

  1. Passion Fruit
  2. Dragon fruit
  3. Fruit pizza
  4. Jack fruit
  5. Fruit dip

Current top vegetable searches worldwide

  1. Grilled vegetables
  2. Roasted vegetables
  3. Green vegetables
  4. Nightshade vegetables
  5. High protein vegetables

Current top flower searches worldwide

  1. Types of flowers
  2. Supermarket flowers
  3. Purple flowers
  4. Flowers delivery
  5. Wedding flowers

Action points and suggestions

From these lists and further research also conducted, we can conclude that there is an increasing interest in exotic fruits, and a lot of curiosity surrounding what they are and how to eat them. “Fruit pizza” ranks highly, as consumers look for new ways to present and eat fruit. Visual social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, coupled with the influence of food bloggers are raising curiosity levels amongst consumers regarding healthier diet, knowing about the sourcing of food, finding new and creative ways to eat and present food, and of course, product quality. Parts of the supply chain that were previously invisible are becoming areas of interest for consumers as more companies move towards a ‘transparency strategy’ for their products.

With vegetables it seems that the customer is looking for new and creative ways to prepare and cook what is a necessary part of any diet. Fruit seems to be creating more inspiration than vegetables, but we can also see some prevailing trends. Where there is a lot of focus on protein-heavy diets (particularly amongst athletes and gym enthusiasts), people are searching for protein content in vegetables. People are also looking for healthy and delicious ways to prepare vegetables and it seems that what is missing, is inspiration and guidance.

Flowers produce some interesting search results, enabling us to draw a few steady conclusions. People are looking for something a little bit different to the mass-market, and this is illustrated in searches for specific colours and more unusual types of flower. Customers are also looking for convenience by searching for delivered flowers. This also suggests that flowers are still high on the agenda in gifting and that people are looking for something special to send, in a reliable way.

There is a huge opportunity for retailers here to investigate, and challenge themselves in the following areas:

  • Experiential selling (giving the consumers an ‘experience’ in store that feels more personalised and exclusive, and less mass-produced).
  • Transparency (showing the consumer more of the supply chain).
  • Engaging on a social level to be part of the wider conversation surrounding fruit, vegetables and flowers.
  • Monitoring quality to ensure products are the best they can possibly be, particularly with delivered products.
  • Raising the profile of ‘ordinary’ vegetables to create new trends.

It is an exciting and interesting time to be part of the produce world. There are so many opportunities, but they all come back to a balance of quality, assortment, price and exposure. These are the key drivers of the work that we do here at Innovative Fresh and we are here to help you.

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